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And Again

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  2,116 ratings  ·  417 reviews
In the spirit of Station Eleven and The Age of Miracles, this exciting literary debut novel imagines the consequences when four ordinary individuals are granted a chance to continue their lives in genetically perfect versions of their former bodies.

Would you live your life differently if you were given a second chance? Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda—four terminally ill p
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 12th 2016 by Touchstone
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Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,116 ratings  ·  417 reviews

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Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I don't like saying much about the actual story in reviews, the synopsis is enough here. What I found fantastic is how this book made me feel. How I feel about who I am, who I want to be and what I would miss about my current self if it were to disappear. I loved this entirely. ...more
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - What a terrific debut! Four people with serious health problems (two have terminal cancer, one has a serious form of AIDS, and the other is completely paralyzed and can only communicate by blinking) are given a second chance at life by transferring their brain cells to a perfect, cloned body. The author did an excellent job at keeping this realistic character and relationship based story from reading like science fiction.

The publisher compares this to Kazuo Ishiguru's NEVER LET ME G
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. I loved this book for how it made me feel and how I never wanted to put it down. I'm very impressed, this is Jessica's first novel and I very much enjoyed this fiction novel with a dash of sci-fi.

This is a great book and I'm very impressed.

This is Jessica's debut novel and I very much enjoyed this fiction novel with a dash of sci-fi. I say a dash of sci-fi because And Again sticks with daily life events that occur today but executes the concept of cloning within it. I rea
Joy (joyous reads)
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, for-review
I’ve been looking for a novel that will challenge the way most of the cloning novels are being written. I want to see a story that shows them as more than a product of a successful lab project. Neither mechanical nor sterile; definitely not automatons devoid of human emotions. And Again delivered that for me.

This book was surprisingly fast and easy to read. Jessica’s writing felt comfortable, like a warm blanket or a comfy chair. And even though the story revolves around four people and four dif
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not like this book. It was a hard read, because I felt unsympathetic toward all of the characters. Since it's basically four character studies, I don't have much to say that's not me ranting...
I get that everyone has their flaws and their issues, but they all were very selfish people. I found Linda to be a pretty awful person, but Hannah was the absolute worst. The subjects with families were awful to their simpering spouses and both of the subjects with children were atrocious parents.
Joce (squibblesreads)
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holy shit.

I died and came back to life a million times reading this book. Full review to come.
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
What if you could get a new body that doesn't have the imperfections and illness as the old one did? What could go wrong? Such and exciting and thrilling book that I read in one go, didn't want to let go of it. It's both an entertaining story and makes you think. Highly recommend this book ...more
Hannah Cassie

MORE? MORE! @ P.S. I love that book!

THE WORLD: The world that surrounds us plus advanced medicine where human cloning is happening. This actually still in trails and so a few people who are very sick get to try it out. I don't even think this book is set in the future much, I mean okay it is weird how they do it because they basically grow a clone on hormones and then transfer 'you' into their brain. So when I say cloning I don't mean just identical DNA which is a pretty standard definition for
Carlene Inspired
I recieved an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Four people with serious health problems are given the opportunity to transfer their brain cells to a perfect clone of their body. There are no freckles, no scars, no horrible pains from their previous body. For one year they must allow doctors to study their bodies and control their medical decisions. They must also meet with one another in a support group, where they find their physical identities have left them, their bodies are
Rachel León
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
(Maybe 3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because this is a really intriguing story) I was more interested in the concept of Jessica Chiarella's novel than the story when I started reading. And Again is about four participants with terminal conditions who agreed to take part in a study that cloned their bodies, but harvested their memories. Essentially these individuals are the same people, but in different bodies--ones without the wrinkles, scars, and tattoos from before.

I'm not sure why, but I st
Mar 20, 2016 rated it liked it
The writing is smooth and the 4 characters have flow. And the premise is interesting, yet at the same time without undo explanation. (I would have liked more of the clone transfer information to be real in detail.)

But overall, as much as I appreciated that this author actually DOES know Chicago, I couldn't connect to these 4 characters. It wasn't just an aspect of liking them or not liking them. They all seemed so much CUBS fans and on a sphere that was rather elevated from the get-go and withi
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really excellent and quite surprising. This book is not at all science fictiony despite its premise. It is at its heart a character study and a darn fine one at that. Chiarella manages to give each of the four main characters their own distinct voice. Masterfully done and a great read.

ARC from publisher.
ash c
A disappointed no from me. DNF at page 60. This is a great premise - 4 individuals wake up from terminal illness in a newly-engineered body - their body, but polished and upgraded. No flaws, no genes for illness.

I am impressed because this book is trying to start a conversation on what is not usually explored - your body as being part of your identity and self. Not in the way commonly portrayed in media, as in your perception of yourself and your actual physical abilities, which of course count
Sometimes I wonder about literary fiction. The plot of this book supposes that humans can be cloned into a perfect copy, accelerated growth and all, and have their memories transferred from their old bodies to the new. The clones will not have the genetic defects that their old sources did, and while they also seem to not be capable of doing the things the sources did, they're also less likely to self-destruct. So. If this was a genre book, it would have upwards of 1000 pages, a thriller like pl ...more
Douglas Lord
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So. You fucked up somewhere along the line and contracted a terminal illness, and now you’ve agreed to be an experimental subject in a secret program where your own brain is put into a body cloned from you. Ahhhhh, schweppervescence: a fresh new you. But is it a new you? You’re still you—or are you? Admirably, Chiarella eschews spoon-feeding the plot in favor of dripping and accruing a story from pieces and small details. Characters’ physical restorations—“The freckles on my nose and cheeks are ...more
Caiti S
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars. I thought this was a thought-provoking character study and a very enjoyable read. It looks at four terminally-ill/disabled patients—a congressman, an artist, a mother, and a former actress—who take part in an experimental medical program that allows them to receive a perfectly cloned healthy body and explores how they adjust to their second chance at life. It was fascinating to think about—how our bodies become maps of our life experiences with scars and callouses and stretch marks, h ...more
Nov 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Really interesting take on cloning, Chiarella switches focus onto actual character development, and what people could go through having a new body.

I appreciated her story telling, and the new take. The book didn't wow me unfortunately. Interesting concept, I thought maybe the characters had things a bit easy in life, even when they were facing their own adjustment challenges. There was potential in the story lines to be bigger than they were if the ideas could have been more flushed out, and gi
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
Well-written in terms of prose but not stunning, the kind of story where you know exactly how it's all going to play out: the artist who has trouble painting in her new body with a reporter boyfriend who will eventually betray her confidence and publish an article about the trials, the scummy womanizing republican congressman whose wife is conniving and hypocritical, the actress with a backstory of childhood sexual abuse... It's all familiar ground, nothing insightful or particularly new compare ...more
Ange H
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
This story is set slightly in the future. Four different people on the brink of death are the incredibly fortunate "lottery" recipients of a new technology: they are given cloned, perfectly health versions of their bodies and a fresh chance at life. What an exciting premise! You wouldn't think it possible that it could be turned into a novel so unbelievably dull and depressing. But this author pulled it off. ...more
AmberBug com*
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it review
Dear Reader,

This was a unique read. I'm a science fiction fan and I love books that can delve into that genre without being TOO much sci-fi (if you know what I mean). This was kind of like that except it didn't go far enough, I'd categorize it as "Literary Fiction with a dash of Science Fiction". What was nice about the whole thing is that this book is one I can definitely see myself recommending to those readers trying science fiction out (pretty perfect for that). The
Kath Lau
Four individuals who are suffering from terminal illnesses have been selected for a pilot program called SUBlife. Their brain cells were transferred to a perfect clone of their bodies before they got sick. All their imperfections and illnesses are now gone.

This book is written in four different POVs and the author did a great job on making the characters distinguishable from one another. The author's choice of character portrayals was also quite interesting to read. I was really into the story u
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was an exceptional read for a first time author. A beautiful blend of science fiction and everyday human life today. The story follows 4 terminally ill patients who have their bodies cloned, genetically altered to get rid of their illness and have their brains transferred into their new bodies. My favorite patient is Hannah, a young artist who was dying of lung cancer. She and her boyfriend Sam struggle to get their young lives back on track after planning and dealing with her impending dea ...more
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
This was my pick for my book club this month. I'm a big fan of the literary-sci-fi genre, so this was a no-brainer to pick. I enjoyed the premise, and the author did a great job of fleshing out these unlikable characters. The characters were definitely the best part of the story. I would've enjoyed a little more focus on the actual science behind the premise or at least more of a discussion about the ethics behind it, but it was a fast, character-driven read. ...more
Diane S ☔
3.5 review to follow.
Emily M
"I'm sorry," I say, and for the first time in a long time, I mean it. I realize what a colossal mess of things we've made, how we've been given our lives back only to take them apart ourselves, of our own accord. And I wonder if our SUBs have, in fact, made us more human than we were, less able to tamp down our fears and our desires, made us feel too much al at once. Maybe people aren't meant to feel things so powerfully, as we have, and to act on them.

I usually stay away from books with sci
Jessica Sullivan
Even the most groundbreaking medical advances can have unexpected consequences. In this literary debut, four individuals with terminal illnesses are given the chance to trade in their dying bodies for genetically perfect replicas as part of a pilot program called SUBlife.

It sounds like an incredible opportunity with few drawbacks - after all, our bodies are only vessels for the memories, thoughts and feelings that make up who we are. But as each character begins to realize, our physical identit
Kelly Hager
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it
This book would be perfect for book clubs. I think there'd be a great discussion centered around the question of whether you'd be willing to get a new body (your own body, granted, but still) if it meant that you'd lose important aspects of yourself. Yes, it'd be wonderful to be healthy again (even without the added benefit of being beautiful) but would you be as excited about it if you lost the thing that made you special?

There are also the political questions (is it okay to clone people? How d
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, wishlist
I loved this book. At first I thought it was lofty to compare this book to Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, and while I still don't think it's a similar book (those books were literature heavy, as in there was a lot to read in to and a lot of wonderful prose), I loved the character development in this book.

What I also really loved was the basic point, or central thought to this book - is all of your personality solely in your mind, or does it reside in your body and your muscle memory as wel
Kirin McCrory
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
A stellar work of fiction by a wonderful young writer. Chiarella's fiction is cinematic, in that she crafts such clear, engaging characters you can't help but want to see them on screen. This book flew by--I finished it in a single afternoon. Through interwoven narratives about 4 very different people undergoing the same medical miracle, this book begs the question: how badly do we want to live forever, and is it worth it? Or maybe the question is: what makes us who we are? You can uncover plent ...more
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Is it what they were talking about on the radio?” he asks, releasing my hand and sitting back in his chair. “A few years ago all anyone could talk about was the UN passing an exception to the ban on human cloning. They were saying it was probably for medical research.”

“It was,” I reply, though I shouldn’t be surprised that Dr. Grath would put the pieces together. “There are four of us, in Chicago at least. I’m not sure how many across the country.”

“How does it work?” He’s very calm, for someone
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Jessica Chiarella grew up in the Chicago area and has a Master’s Degree in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University. She is currently a student in the University of California, Riverside’s MFA in Creative Writing program.


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“And then it's easier, knowing that I don't have to do it all at once. Knowing that fear comes and goes in waves and all I must do is wait for it to recede before I charge on.
“It amazes me, sometimes, how small a world can be. Not the world as a whole, from horizon to horizon, but the world as it exists for a single person. Sometimes it fees like a person's world can shrink to a size that would fit within the shell of a walnut. I think of prison cells and agoraphobic poets and people who are born and live and die inside the limits of the same small town. It must seem impossible to them that highways actually lead anywhere. A person could believe that airplanes are the size of flies, if she only ever sees them from afar, trailing their way across the sky. If she can even see the sky.” 0 likes
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